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Durham University

Research & business

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Publication details

Harris, R., McAdam, R. & Reid, R. (2016). The Effect of Business Improvement Methods on Innovation in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Peripheral Regions. Regional Studies 50(12): 2040-2054.

Author(s) from Durham


The effect of business improvement methods on innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises in peripheral regions, Regional Studies. This paper tests whether commonly used business improvement methods (BIM) foster or inhibit innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in peripheral regions. The findings show that adopting BIM diverts firms away from successful innovation (i.e., in terms of new products/services and new processes in the past three years), and instead is associated with undertaking innovation-related activities while remaining non-innovators. Indeed, reinforcing BIM (through greater ‘depth’ of use) may lead to further exclusion from successful innovation.